Archive for September 9th, 2009

Go and Make Disciples of All Nations

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (New International Version)

Teen Christian Convert Who Fled Muslim Family Gets Online Threat

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

We’ve blogged about a teen girl, Rifqa Bary, 17, who ran away from her Muslim family after converting to Christianity, out of fear for her life. She is now being threatened with death.
For those who are not aware of it, leaving Islam is a crime punishable by death. Although these so-called “honor killings” do not happen very often in the U.S., but they are quite prevalent in Muslim countries.
Here in the U.S., one such incident we have covered in depth, was the “honor killings” of Sarah Yaser Said, 17, and Amina Yaser Said, 18. You may see our coverage of that event, along with commentaries from their Great Aunt, Gail Gartrell, here.

Fathima Bary

An Internet blogger who has followed closely the case of a teenager who fled her Muslim family after she converted to Christianity, expressing concern she would become the victim of an “honor killing,” is reporting an Internet threat to the life of the young girl.

Blogger Pamela Geller, writing at Atlas Shrugs, has posted screen captures of the alleged threat to Rifqa Bary, whose future remains to be decided by a court process in Florida.

Alleged threat on Internet, as documented by blogger Pamela Geller.

“I have said from the very first that Rifqa Bary is the highest value target in America,” Gellar wrote. “Apostasy is the most egregious crime against Islam. Her crime is not just against the family. It is against Islam.

“I know Ohio law enforcement and Florida law enforcement found no threat to Rifqa, but perhaps they can put down the kool aid for five minutes and do their job,” she continued.

“There is a pro-Islamic site on Facebook that threatens Rifqa Bary with death. Will everyone stop the PC, religion of peace nonsense … and get serious? Is law enforcement going to stop playing games and protect this young girl or what?”

Robert Spencer, the terror expert who posts at JihadWatch.org, noted that as soon as Gellar posted information about the threat, the Facebook site on which it appeared was taken down.

Read about Islam’s Mahdi and Christianity’s Antichrist, and the arguments that they are one and the same!

“Will any authorities take this seriously? Or will they continue to swallow whole the pleasing deceptions coming from the mainstream media and Islamic leaders in Ohio and Florida, to the effect that Rifqa is in no danger at all?” he wrote.

The terse threat is contained in the words, “we need to kill her” that appeared on the page.

Fathima Rifqa Bary, 17 (Facebook photo)

WND reported earlier that the Muslim parents of the 17-year-old are devout members of a mosque with ties to numerous terrorist leaders, according to her attorneys.

As WND reported, Fathima Rifqa Bary, an honor student and cheerleader, was raised in a Muslim family in Columbus, Ohio. She became a Christian four years ago as a result of her interactions with children at school.

But Bary, a native of Sri Lanka, hitchhiked to a bus station and ran away from home July 19 because she says her family will murder her in what is known as an “honor killing” for converting to Christianity. In Islamic tradition, an honor killing is the killing of a person believed to have brought dishonor upon his or her family. The United Nations tabulates about 5,000 such “honor killings” annually around the world, and they have been documented even in the United States.

Bary sought refuge with a church group in Florida but has been in state foster care by court order. A judge has ordered mediation to be attempted next in her case.

Orlando, Fla., trial lawyer John Stemberger, attorney for Barry, said he would outline in court documents the Bary family mosque’s ties to terrorism.

“I knew from the beginning that this young lady was in danger. It is no joke, and the she knew she was in danger. I wonder why she isn’t being protected? Why? Because we don’t want to upset the radical Muslims that live in our country,” wrote a forums page participant on Geller’s site.

Geller earlier reported the girl’s friends accompanied her to the school counselor after they noticed bruises covering her arms and legs that allegedly resulted from beatings by her father.

“Beatings were random, violent, unprovoked,” Geller reported. “Take, for example, when Rifqa and her father Mohamed were driving in the car. He would force her to wear the hijab (head covering), which she hated. In her discomfort she would slouch down, embarrassed, and her father would haul off and sock her in the face so that she never forgot to sit up straight in her costume. The beatings were regular and so much a part of the landscape of Rifqa’s life, she became inured to them …”

Bary’s attorney confirmed that the teen had been a victim of beatings at the hands of her father.

“Her father has slapped her with such force that it has knocked her over,” Stemberger said. “Her father asked her to wear the official headdress of Islam. Because she lowered her body down in the car so she couldn’t be seen, he punched her on the side of her face with great force because she was ashamed of that.”

The Christian teen turned to pastors Blake and Beverly Lorenz of Global Revolution Church in Orlando, Fla., whom she met through Facebook. She has been placed in foster care by the Florida Department of Children and Families, or DCF.

Original Link.
See our previous post about Rifqa Bary.
Muslim Teen Who Converted to Christianity Says Family Threatened to Kill Her.
Updated: Judge Decides Fate of Honor Student, Cheerleader Who Fears “Honor Killing” After Converting to Christianity.
Parents of Muslim Teen Who Converted to Christianity Have Ties to Mosque of Alleged Terrorist.

In Remembrance of Sarah and Amina Said. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings
In Remembrance of Sarah and Amina Said. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings

Cracking the Code of the Copper Scroll

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

This is very interesting…

“Shelley, I want you to meet the guy who has cracked the code on the Copper Scroll.” With that intriguing introduction, I shook hands with Jim Barfield. We stood among the kiosks of Israeli goods during a lunch break at a Christian Zionist conference in Forth Worth, Texas.

“Congratulations,” I replied, “but what’s the Copper Scroll?”

“A treasure map,” Barfield answered, “from the prophet Jeremiah.”

I gave Barfield and his companion a quick once over, trying to determine whether they were the well-intentioned kind of crazy or scary crazy. A small-town Oklahoma man with impressive posture, Barfield sported long (really long) gray hair and a full goatee. His partner in “The Copper Scroll Project” is Chris Knight, another long-haired fellow who speaks softly and possesses a gentle demeanor. He shares the same look of confidence and conviction that Barfield exudes as they brief me on the Scroll.

The Copper Scroll was discovered in 1952 in one of the Qumran caves along the Dead Sea. Though part of the official Dead Sea Scrolls Collection, the Copper Scroll differs from the others in that it is written entirely on thin sheets of alloyed copper rather than papyrus or leather. Furthermore, the Copper Scroll is neither scriptural nor literary, but rather a detailed list of approximately sixty locations where vast amounts of gold, silver, coins, vessels, and other religious artifacts are hidden. Such Temple treasures might also include the Ark of the Covenant.

THE SCROLL was found rolled in two parts and badly oxidized. Fearing it would crumble like thin glass, experts debated for four years over the best way to open it. Finally the Scroll was sent to a lab in Manchester, England where they cut it into twenty-three strips with a high-speed saw. Photographs of the strips were taken, and then, since the scroll had been found during an expedition sponsored by the Jordan Department of Antiquities, the pieces were sent back to the country.

There are several theories as to the origin of the treasure listed in the scroll, and to whom it belonged. While one theory labels the find simply as an ancient hoax, equally popular is the belief that the artifacts on the list are in fact treasures from the Second Temple. Supporters of the latter scenario theorize that the Temple items were hidden just before the Roman army, led by Titus, surrounded the walls of Jerusalem.

However, the theory to which Barfield ascribes – and most Dead Sea scholars reject – is that the scroll is neither a hoax nor a remnant of the Second Temple period, but rather was created during the First Temple period. His hypothesis derives from the Second Book of Maccabees, as well as a lesser known seventeenth century book called Emek Hamelech (“Valley of the King”). These two works tell the story of the prophet Jeremiah who, with the help of five Holy men, one named Shimur Halevi, carefully hid the holy objects of the Temple to protect them from the conquering Babylonians, and documented those locations on a copper tablet.

The Copper Scroll is a difficult text to understand. Written in an early form of Mishnaic Hebrew, many of the words used in the Scroll are unfamiliar to scholars because they do not appear in any other biblical or rabbinical texts. The scribe’s handwriting is sloppy and hurried, forcing paleographers to make competing guesses as to the scribe’s intention. Most of the locations detailed in the Scroll are obscure references, and are too narrow in their specificity to be known outside of that time period. The list speaks of tombs, dry wells, caves, and pools belonging to forgotten people and places.

For example, the Scroll writes “Sixty-five bars of gold lie on the third terrace in the cave of the old Washer’s House,” and again, “Seventy talents of silver are enclosed in a wooden vessel in the cistern of a burial chamber in Matia’s courtyard.” Adding to the puzzle, next to seven of the locations listed on the Scroll, there are two or three random Greek letters. I asked Barfield if somehow he had discovered the identity of the “old Washer,” or if he found a secret code associated with the Greek letters. He said cracking the code was more direct than that. “Others have applied too much of their pre-conceived theories,” he said, “and just get lost in the details.”

BARFIELD IS not the typical biblical researcher, and is the first to admit that he lacks the Indiana Jones background one would expect. He has no prior knowledge of the language, archaeology, or geography of the region. Instead, he is a retired Oklahoma Fire Marshal who once excelled in investigating arson. While he had become familiar with the Copper Scrolls while previously reading a biblical chronology, he said that he had been “totally bored by it,” and casually labeled it “just a list of kosher metals.”

His outlook on the find changed one morning in December 2006. Following a conversation with Vendyl Jones, a man rumored to be the inspiration for Spielberg’s Indiana Jones, and who himself had been searching for the treasures listed on the artifact, Barfield chose to revisit the ancient text.

When investigating arson, he tried to prove everyone innocent by eliminating the fringe factors. This experience served him perfectly with the scroll. “I eliminated the fringe and matched up the fingerprints,” he said.

After looking at the scroll for five minutes he deciphered the first location, and twenty minutes later he identified the next four locations. He and his wife took their first trip to Israel to confirm whether the sites and places that he had identified actually existed. “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just imagining things,” Barfield said. It took six months for Barfield to crack the code for the rest of the locations.

Once again applying his experience as a fire marshal, Barfield packaged up his research in the style of an arson investigative report. He then boarded a plane, and delivered his report directly into the hands of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Jerusalem. Given his lack of archeological background, his Christian faith, and the fact that the IAA confronts treasure hunters every day, I asked if they treated him skeptically. “Once they saw my report,” he replied laughingly, “they just moved me to the head of the class.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Healthcare Petition Reflects ‘Uprising’

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

People do not want this health care reform, but Obama and the Dems just don’t get it.

A leader in the Southern Baptist Convention will deliver a petition opposing President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan to members of Congress.

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says the petitions show that Americans are fed up with the situation.

“I have been pleasantly surprised at the uprising — and it really is an uprising,” he remarks. “I have been talking about healthcare reform and the Obama healthcare proposals every Saturday on my program, ‘Richard Land Live’ — and I haven’t been able to get off the subject.

Original Link.

Dems’ Healthcare ‘Compromises’ Mislead Public

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

A healthcare policy expert says both the “trigger” and non-profit cooperative proposals being pushed by Democrats resemble the “camel’s nose under the tent” of government-run healthcare.

President Obama tonight will be delivering a special address to Congress on the issue of healthcare. The speech comes as Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) is promoting a compromise healthcare bill that calls for non-profit cooperatives to compete with insurance companies, but does not contain a new government-run health insurance plan — the so-called “public option.”

The plan proposed by Baucus differs from other health proposals in the House and Senate in that it does not require employers to provide health insurance to workers. But Greg D’Angelo with The Heritage Foundation says the Democratic senator’s proposal is essentially a public plan, just under another name.

Original Link.

Obama to “Sweet Talk” You Into Obamacare With Health Speech

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Obama is going to try to talk you into Obamacare. He will lie to you, so expect it…

WASHINGTON — Reaching for a game-changer, President Barack Obama is beset by conflicting goals in a prime-time address Wednesday expected to detail just how he wants to expand health care coverage and lower medical costs while signaling to a deeply divided Congress that he’s ready to deal.

And show the public he’s in control.

The president is likely to say that a government-run insurance plan, known as the “public option,” will not provide a level of subsidies that give it an unfair advantage over private insurers, aides familiar with the speech preparations told The Wall Street Journal.

Insurers oppose the public option, saying it will lead to excessive government control of health care and could eventually drive them out of business. Republicans say they won’t support an overhaul with a public option, and liberal Democrats say they won’t support one without it.

Even as Obama prepared to speak to lawmakers and a live television audience, the leader of the influential Senate Finance Committee raced to broker a bipartisan agreement on the president’s top domestic priority.

The White House set a high bar for the rare presidential address to a joint session of Congress, acknowledging the huge stakes and creating big expectations about the level of specificity Obama would provide. The president has stressed repeatedly the broad goals for the sweeping health care overhaul he seeks, but has left the details to lawmakers. Through a hot summer of angry debate, he lost his grip on the process.

Aiming to reclaim it at a pivotal moment and open a final push for a bill, Obama said, “We do intend to get something done this year.”

“I’m open to new ideas,” he said in an interview for broadcast Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in which he previewed the themes of his speech. “We’re not being rigid and ideological about this thing.”

With the approximately 35-minute speech still being written, much by Obama himself, White House officials said the president will “answer all the major questions” — including the sticky issue of how to pay for getting coverage for the 50 million Americans who lack it.

“Everyone who listens will understand that his plan has at its core two overriding goals — to bring stability and security to Americans who have insurance today, and affordable coverage to those who don’t,” Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said.

It was unlikely that Obama would issue explicit veto threats, as he prefers to focus on what he is for rather than on what he will refuse to support, aides said. He also wasn’t delivering a piece of legislation to Capitol Hill, where three House committees and one in the Senate already have devised their own, partisan versions.

Obama will appear before lawmakers a day after their return from an August recess marked by contentious town halls and much misinformation and confusion about what a health care overhaul may look like.

A senior administration official said Obama has ceased worrying about whether he gets any Republican participation. “If they don’t want to, we can’t worry about that,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to more freely discuss behind-the-scenes thinking.

But that is no longer Obama’s biggest difficulty, a fact underscored by the conflicting advice he was getting from within his own party.

Original Link.

Poll: Support for Health Care Reform Tepid as More Americans Oppose Legislation

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

It doesn’t appear that Obama and the Dems are listening to you…as usual.

More Americans oppose health care reform than support it, as backing for President Obama’s hallmark legislation remains tepid following a month of combative town halls on the subject, according to a Gallup Poll released Tuesday.

Just 37 percent of Americans support the pending legislation, which is expected to be picked up again as Congress returns to session Tuesday following a month-long recess. A slightly larger number — 39 percent — want their congressmen to vote against the bill, the poll found.

Many members of Congress held heated meetings in the dog days of summer where supporters were often slammed for backing the $1.5 trillion package, but support for the legislation shifted only slightly from a month ago. Nearly a quarter of those polled by Gallup — 24 percent — still have no opinion on the issue.

The poll shows the issue will likely be politically potent in 2010, as 64 percent of Americans say their representative’s position on health care reform will be a major factor in their vote in the next congressional election. Opponents of the bill are watching even more closely, as 82 percent say the issue will be a major factor in their vote in next year’s elections. More than three-fifths of supporters — 62 percent — say health care votes will be a major factor for them as well.

The nationally conducted poll surveyed 1,026 adults from Aug. 31-Sept. 2 and has a 4-point margin of error. It found support for reform split along party lines, with independents leaning toward Republicans in clear opposition to the bill.

Original Link.

Most Major News Outlets Largely Ignore Van Jones Controversy

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Although the Honeymoon is over, the Mainstream Media is still very much in love with Obama, and as such, continues to refuse to report the stories which might cast him in a negative light. This story is more proof of that.

Americans who rely on the network broadcasts or the nation’s top newspapers for their news may have just learned about the weekend resignation of President Obama’s “green jobs czar” or the firestorm of controversy that was set off weeks ago by the revelation of his past provocative statements.

Most of the major news outlets, like The New York Times, The Washington Post and CBS ignored the swelling heat surrounding former White House environmental adviser Van Jones and the videos surfacing of his controversial statements.

For weeks, conservative media led by FOX News commentator Glenn Beck has been criticizing Jones, a former self-avowed Marxist and anarchist, for his remarks and radical views, including his February denunciation of Republicans as “assholes” — a statement that came to light on Wednesday.

Jones issued two apologies last week — for his statement on Republicans and for signing a petition that suggested the U.S. government was involved in the Sept 11. terrorist attacks — and the White House responded to the growing controversy on Friday. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said Jones continued to work in the administration and asserted that the president didn’t agree with his controversial statements.

Yet most of the media still didn’t pay attention even after Gibbs’ comment.

CBS News became the first of the three broadcast networks on Friday to note the controversy, but ABC’s “World News” and “NBC Nightly News” again failed to report the story. After Jones’ midnight resignation over the weekend, all three networks aired the story on their Sunday evening newscasts. The Washington Post offered its first story on Saturday yet The New York Times’ print edition didn’t publish its first story until Monday — a story that appeared on the front page, under the fold.

Democratic strategist Julian Epstein defended the media, saying they strive to provide balanced reporting and that their “passing coverage” was similar to their reports on the controversy surrounding Sen. John McCain’s religious adviser last year during his presidential bid.

“I think some of the media is guilty of not covering things that are occurring on the right,” he told FOX News. “Other parts of the media are guilty of not covering things adequately that are occurring on the left. I think every news organization has to strive to be balanced on this.”

The booming calls for Jones’ resignation and questions over his ability to land such a position wasn’t just coming from Republicans. Democrats and security experts weighed in, wondering how Jones could have passed thorough and lengthy background checks and still land the job.

A cursory search of Jones would have revealed some of his most controversial statements including a speech in 2005 when he injected race into Columbine massacre, saying that black students don’t commit mass school shootings.

But Jones is towering figure in the environmental world. A New York Times best-selling author and Yale law school graduate, Jones was named by Time Magazine in 2008 as one of their “Environmental Heroes.”

Obama has named nearly three dozen czars in his administration to advise him on topics ranging from the auto industry to manufacturing. Critics note that czars, unlike cabinet-level positions, do not face Senate confirmation and therefore are allowed access and influence to the president without the proper checks and balances.

Original Link.